A copy of Vincent Van Goghs Sunflowers (Version of the Neue Pinakothek Munich) represents my "first steps" with oil colours.


It nearly took me three years to finish it in 2016 (Vincent may have needed half a day).


But to me it paid off!

I rediscovered my talent for painting and an unexpected love to oil paints.


I realized:

For me there was no way around art!

We've come a long way ...

In detail ...

Reading time about 5 Minutes



At that time there was a junk-shop on my way to work.

One lovely day, this old, lazy coloured, yellow wooden picture frame presented itself in the display and caught my eye.


I estimated it too bulky to imidiately take it home with the tube. And honestly, who would buy such an unhandy good spontaneously at the junk-shop?


Well, during the next days, this frame patiently stayed at the back of my mind. And then I had an idea of a copy of Van Goghs Sunflowers combined with that yellow wood. Additionally I learned, how hard it could be to find nice old picture frames at affordable expences - they easily hit three-figure prices.


Did I miss an opportunity?

I would correct this the next time possible. My limit in mind was 50 Euro. If it was less, it would be mine!

Then the next day: I was lucky - it was still there!

Obviously other customers were chilled by the dimensions and the bad condition. I cautiously asked for a price. The salesman took a dramatic pause and said: "10 Euro!"


I agreed and dragged that 30' by 35' monster of massive wood home.

Van Gogh usually started his paintings without any preparatory drawing.

His paintings still give an impression of his impulsive working procedure.


Hard to imagine, that most of the artworks were created in less than one day.


Even harder to realize, if you have ever tried to copy one of his masterpieces.

Act two – Canvas and drawing

To be honest, the bargain of the frame was neutralised by the choice of the canvas. The size was just too unregular, so I needed a custom one. Thanks to Vincents template, unprimed and therefore minimally cheaper.

In this case I did not want to start without a pre-drawing. But I did it with a lemon crayon, so it wont shimmer through the finished painting, as charcoal tends to do.


At this point a tipp on materials:

Canves eats colored pencils for breakfast! I sent almost one inch through the charpener to draw very few lines.

Act three – Oil paint


What I really like about "my" sunflowers, is the warm and strong palette. Hindsight, I still use similar colours to many of my paintings. Thus, my colour choices are somehow near to Van Goghs.


The organic shapes - e.g. the withered blossom on the right - perfectly matched my own brush stroke.

But Vincents typical speckling nearly drove me crazy. Using this technique to copy something is demanding an amount of patience from the painter (about two years in this case) I am still fighting with in some recent paintings.

Act four – the reward

I really loved the result and it even made the living room wall (and still does).


This painting took away my fears of oil colours and at the same time rose my respect to old and young masters.


In the end my decision was clear:

to go on painting more seriously.


Act one – the frame

Actually this was my very first oilpainting. Prior to that I was scared by the fussiness and the venerable aura of this medium.

But for a Van Gogh copy there was no alternative.


The main difference between acrylics and oil colours is the much delayed drying because of the oil as medium. Thicker layers may take months to dry properly, sometimes even longer.


But while painting, you can perform corrections for a very long time.


To me the best is the high brilliance and the smooth touch of the colours.